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Thousands of Social Security Claims Rejected Due to Arbitrary Ruling

November 22, 2009

Wilmington, Delaware - Thousands of disabled workers were denied of their Social Security benefits even when their health conditions qualify them because of a system that allows arbitrary ruling, according to News Journal report.

The newspaper reviewed more than 1.7 million records across the US and found great disparity in terms of approving Social Security claims. For example, administrative law judges in Charleston, West Virginia have rejected 12 percent of claims filed between 2005 and 2008 compared to judges in Dayton, Ohio who denied 53 percent of the applications.

Meanwhile, the Social Security Administration (SSA) said the disparities between states are normal since medical records and evidence may be interpreted in different ways by different administrative judges.

SSA Chief Administrative Judge Frank Cristaudo said that “deciding if a person is disabled is a complex process.”

“The federal agency allows judges to make a decision based on what they think is appropriate”, Cristaudo said.

However, some experts criticized the SSA for allowing arbitrary ruling, a system which may be abused by some administrative judges.

Also, some people whose claims were denied had accused the administrative judges of ignoring their medical records and their doctors’ testimonies while giving merit to the opinion of consulting medical experts hired by SSA.

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